The new Ghostbusters film featuring an all-female cast for the first time, will not be released in China. The film, directed by Paul Feig, joins several other Hollywood films such as The Departed, The Da Vince Code, and most recently Deadpool, that are banned in the country .
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film wasn’t banned because of the supernatural-comedy genre but because of China’s reception (or lack of it) towards such a film. The first and second Ghostbusters released in 1984 and 1989 respectively, did not do well in the country and according to a THR report, the Chinese authorities felt that there is not much of a market for a film like this. Considering a film like Star Wars: The Force Awakens was declared a hit in other countries but failed in China’s box-office, banning Ghostbusters does not come as a surprise.
On the other hand, the report speculates that the ban was because of the ‘ghost’ in Ghostbusters. In the past, Chinese censorship guidelines have banned other films that “promote cults or superstitions” such as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest back in 2006. However, since the film has not been approved by Chinese regulators yet, the exact reasons for banning the film is still not known.
This year, the Chinese box office proved extremely favourable for Hollywood ever since Zootopia (2016) raked in $235.5 million in the country, in addition to other films like Warcraft with $221 million and Captain America: Civil War with $190.4 million.
The new Ghostbusters stars the regular cast members of the skit-comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL), such as Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, reprising the roles of the all-male paranormal investigators from the first two films played by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson and Harold Ramis.
Ghostbusters (2016) was released on 11 July in the UK and is expected to release on 15 July in the US and on 29 July in India.
Feature image credit: IMDb